World’s last male white Rhino, Sudan, died in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy on March 20. The 45-year-old rhino died from age-related complications. The conservancy confirmed that Sudan was euthanized after his condition deteriorated and he was unable to stand it. The organisation confirmed on Twitter that the male rhino’s genetic material had been collected so that it could be used for future conservation efforts.Also Read - Czech Republic Olympic Body Launches Probe After 3rd Athlete Tested Positive For Coronavirus
Scientists are hopeful that Sudan’s death won’t spell the end of the species. According to the conservancy, southern white rhinos can be used as surrogates for carrying northern white rhino embryos created via In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), using sperm from dead rhinoceros that is stored in Berlin and eggs extricated by surgery from the females at Ol Pejeta. Also Read - 3 Rare Rothschild's Giraffe Die Of Electrocution in Kenya
Ol Pejeta later released a statement saying that Sudan would be remembered for his unusually memorable life. The conservancy’s CEO Richard Vigne also said that people at Ol Pejeta were saddened by Sudan’s demise. Recalling Sudan’s life history, officials at the conservancy said the rhino first escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo in the 1970s. He sired two females throughout his life and his genetic material, which was collected on Monday, March 19, could provide a hope for future attempts at reproduction of northern white rhinos. Also Read - New Rare Genus of Malaria 'Plasmodium Oval' Detected in Kerala
During the 1970s and 1980s, the northern white rhino population in Uganda, Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic was almost wiped out by poachers. The demand for rhino horn increased manifold due to its use in traditional Chinese medicine. After this, four fertile northern white rhinos, two male and two female, were moved to Ol Pejeta from a zoo in the Czech Republic in the hope that they would breed since the environment was quite similar to their native habitat. There was no success even though the rhinoceros’ mated.
Prior to Sudan’s death, another northern white male rhino died naturally in the year 2014.